Proudly laying claim to having the longest jetty in NSW since 1915, this holiday destination – and its namesake attraction – feature prominently on the highlight reel of many a childhood memory. Today, the Central Coast hamlet is home to a collection of boutiques, lovingly curated by creative locals offering everything from bohemian and vintage wares to modern and Scandi-inspired objects of desire.
Stop 1 | Long Road Home Designs
Interior designer Kylie Long’s cosy store squeezes an impressive range of style genres within its dramatic black walls, from global luxe to mid-century suave. “We’re not pigeon-holed into one particular look, but our different pieces all work together,” says Kylie, whose impressed customers often transition into clients for her interior design business. New stock of furniture, furnishings and artwork, as well as gifts handbags and jewellery, arrive every week. There’s only a limited supply of each, “So customers are always seeing something fresh,” says Kylie.
Must-haves: Linen House ‘Bambara’ Cushion, $45; ‘Explore’ leather wallet, $110.
Open: Mon-Fri, 9.30am-3.30pm; Sat, 9.30am-4pm; Sun, 9.30am-3pm.
Visit: 300 The Entrance Rd, 0408 859 855.
Stop 2 | The Glass Onion Society
A nostalgic assortment of velvet sofas, antique floor lamps and vintage Sebel chairs are all experiencing a revival in this popular cafe, though the food is far from old-fashioned. Patrons spill out from the eccentric interiors to expansive kerbside quarters to enjoy all-day breakfast, organic teas by Tielka, and a private blend of full-bodied, aromatic coffee, which can be taken home in bean form for $39.95 per kilogram. The ever-changing specials board demands attention, with temptations such as The Smoothie Bowl.
Must-haves: The Mushrooms – house-made hummus, topped with sautéed mushrooms with parsley and poached eggs, on toasted sourdough, $18.50.
Open: Mon-Fri, 7am-3pm; Sat-Sun 7.30am-3.30pm.
Visit: 1 & 2/308 The Entrance Rd, (02) 4326 1650.
Stop 3 | Shadow Bang Apothecary And Supply
Step inside this unmissable A-frame building and it’s apparent a good apothecary is precisely what you’ve been missing. Medicinal lotions and household potions line the shelves, alongside other lifestyle essentials displayed irresistibly by owners Ana Koutoulas and Linda Coy. Their philosophy is to supply products for women, made by women, and boutique labels such as Zulu and Zephyr fit the brief. For the home, Afghani rugs, handmade ceramics and kilim cushions will inject an authentic bohemian flavour, while fresh blooms supplied by local florist Octopus’ Garden move like hot cakes on the weekend.
Must-haves: Sit Still Lauren ‘Arki Joe’ plate, $62/23cm; traditional Afghani rug, $150.
Open: Mon-Sun, 9am-4.30pm.
Visit: 310B The Entrance Rd, 0431 471 277.
Stop 4 | Plain Janes
When it comes to sourcing for their lifestyle boutique, sisters Amelia and April’s standards are high, by their own admission. “We’re always on the lookout for fresh brands and quality pieces that aren’t readily available on the Central Coast,” says April. Everyday style is the dominant theme of the compilation of accessories, homewares, toys and fashion, guaranteed to feature something that will catch the eye. Cheese boards from Dutch brand HK Living and womenswear from US label Velvet are arranged alongside many Australian brands – a cushion from Bonnie And Neil here, a Castle And Things throw there – plus Luxx candles hand-poured around the corner in Bateau Bay.
Must-haves: Luxx ‘Lychee & Peony’ soy candle, $50; Bonnie And Neil ‘Shapes’ cushion in Turquoise Blue, $145.
Open: Mon-Sun, 9.30am-4.30pm.
Visit: 346 The Entrance Rd, (02) 4303 2934.
Stop 5 | House Of Stuff
As this eclectic store has been a local stalwart for over 40 years, customers are often loyal second-generation shoppers, returning as adults to source a vintage treasure for their own hip homes. Everything in this large emporium is pre-loved and hand-sourced from the public in a no-hold-barred fashion. Forage for retro gems such as an authentic Parker furniture shelving cabinet, pick a piece of memorabilia to give a vignette a quirky touch, or settle into an antique armchair and chat to Debra, the owner, about what intriguing finds she has in the pipeline.
Must-haves: One-off wonders arrive all the time, such as mid-century gems, so, if you see something you like, get in quick.
Open: Mon-Fri, 9am-4pm; Sat, 9am-3pm; Sun, 10am-3pm.
Visit: 384 The Entrance Rd, (02) 4334 2730.
While you’re there… With so many stores within a stone’s throw, it’s almost impossible not to stumble upon another fascinating find. Visit Grant Molony’s gallery (grantmolony.com) - admire some of the local artist’s varied pieces, while he works on the next creation in the adjacent studio. For vintage clothing with an emphasis on attitude, or a retro-inspired bikini by Sydney label Camp Cove Swim, head for the colourful facade of Dapper Darlings at 298 The Entrance Rd (dapperdarlingsvintage.com, 0410 595 319), then cross over to The Green Tangerine at number 393, for a freshly baked croissant to go (thegreentangerine.com.au).